The ABC's of Selling Golf: A Course in Golf Vocabulary

To sell golf travel effectively, sales agents should have at least a working knowledge of the sport's vocabulary. Here are some common terms:

Tee time: The predetermined date and time at which a player, or group of players, begins a round of golf. Tee times represent the crux of any golf vacation because without them, there is no play.

Foursome: The normal complement of four players who share an assigned tee time.

Pace of Play: Refers to the elapsed time for a round of golf. Generally, four hours is a reasonable target pace to set. Agents should be aware that pace of play considerations can be crucial when scheduling clients for two or more rounds on the same day.

Green fees: The price paid for playing a golf course. Green fees can vary according to the time of year (peak season or shoulder season, e.g.), the time of day (many courses offer twilight rates) or even the condition of the golf course (fees may be reduced because of overseeding or aerification).

Cart fees: A charge for renting a motorized cart to transport a player's golf clubs during a round. Cart fees are generally included in the price paid for the green fees.

Carts-only courses: Some golf courses mandate the use of golf carts and prohibit walking.

Caddies: Some golf courses provide the services of experienced caddies, or loopers, who carry player's clubs, give advice on club selection and read putts. Caddies generally receive a set fee, plus a gratuity.

Par: Every golf course has a stipulated target score of par -- generally 70, 71 or 72 -- for 18 holes. Par depends in part on the configuration of the holes.

The Tips: Refers to the back set of tees which extend a golf course to its maximum length. Most courses have at least four sets of tees, so that players can choose based on their own ability.

Slope Rating: This is a measurement established by the United States Golf Association which rates the difficulty of a course. The higher the slope rating the more difficult the course.

Handicap: Another USGA measurement which indicates a player's ability level. Amateur golfers generally carry handicaps in the 18 to 22 range. (They should be encouraged to avoid the tips and courses with high slope ratings.)

Executive courses: In addition to 18-hole courses of 6,600 yards and up, some golf resorts have executive courses that measure in the 5,000-yard range and are well-suited for beginners.

Par-3 courses: Some resorts also feature 9-hole or 18-hole courses consisting of par-3 holes. These courses can be played in a short amount of time with only a handful of clubs.

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